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Own your own data

December 5, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Imagine that you owned the digital data produced by your own life, Indhira Rojas asks with the help of NY Times writer Rob Walker. You know, the data produced whenever you do business with a credit card, operate your smart phone, visit a website. Other people are gathering this information and using it.

A quick example from Walker’s opening paragraph: the grocery store gives you a small discount for using a card that lets them track the pattern of your shopping. This information must be of some value to them, and might be of some value to each of us. Right now, we give this information away, and we couldn’t easily get it back anyway. But maybe we could get it back. Maybe we should.

Rojas has in mind new ways to spot the patterns of our own behavior, that is, to improve our own lives. But couldn’t you also sell the data? After all, it is, in some way, yours. But for now we can’t even easily have access to it.

(“Wasted Data,” 12/3/10)

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